The Asa Wright Nature Centre’s mandate to protect the native biota of Trinidad and Tobago has meant that it is now more broadly involved in collaborations with several community-based conservation and sustainable development initiatives. One such community-based conservation group is the Blanchisseuse Environmental Arts Trust (BEAT).
Based in the nearby coastal village of Blanchisseuse, on the north coast of Trinidad, BEAT was established in 2001 by a coalition of local artists within the Blanchisseuse community who use visual arts as the media for influencing community awareness of the importance of conservation in their village. This group has since its inception been a key community partner to the AWNC in the Blanchisseuse area, with the Nature Centre providing technical support, opportunities for training of these local artists, and acting as an outlet for the sale of their art work.
This group has recently secured US$50,000 of grant funding from the UN Development Programme for a project to assist sea-moss (native sea-weed) harvesters in this village to sustainably manage the use of a locally consumed sea-weed. The AWNC is assisting BEAT with the development of this project by providing technical assistance through the Nature Centre’s Education and Community Outreach Specialist.
For more information on BEAT and its projects, or the Nature Centre’s other community outreach projects please contact: Ms.Kimberly Chu Foontop